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Back down to earth

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by PranK, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. Hi all,

    I have been commuting daily since I got my L's (mid 08) through my P's and now on my unrestricted license. Occasionally I got a little cocky and changed lanes too closely to the cars around me and had to say to myself outloud 'That was stupid, Christian' and it was. Last thursday, stuck in traffic, I had a quick glance over my left shoulder and quickly changed lanes to get away from this slow truck, the problem was that the car in the left lane had stopped to allow a van to change lanes ahead of them. I wasn't going fast (slightly above walking speed-ish) and ran into the back of them. We pulled over and exchanged details, my forks are ok and there was a small scuff on their rear bar. I got back on my bike and rode to work... Then it all came crashing down on me.. What if this happened, what if that happened.. Suddenly, with a crashing blow, I landed back on the ground and realised that while I have said to myself several times in the past that what I just did was silly, this time I had a get out of jail free card; I'm ok, the bike is ok, the car and its occupants are ok... I have been so thankful that it happened to me because it was just the slap-around-the-chops wake up call that I needed. I dont care if the lane i am in is going slowly, i'll make a safe and calculated lane change when I can and no sooner.

    Just thought I'd share that. My rides to work ever since have been much more civil, but surprisingly no slower (door to door). Just because the other lane is moving faster at this particular time, doesnt mean you need to drop everything to get in it.
  2. Good job on keeping yourself in check mate. It's too easy to forget how dangerous riding is.

    Good to hear you are learning from an easy lesson. It's always good when you stay rubber side down.
  3. Sometimes we get little reminders of how vulnerable we are; sometimes we get big ones. The difference is we usually have a chance to learn from the little ones :wink:.

    Well done!
  4. After commuting for a while you give up trying to save time with difficult/dangerous moves as you put alot of effort in for little return, you might get there a second faster or not at all. Make the best of easy gains eg. splitting in stopped traffic / seeing an obstacle in the distance and seeing that it'd be a good idea to change lanes, etc. Doing so will get you to where you're going with less stress, and generally wont take any longer at all.
  5. That's really good advice man.

    I judge how good a rider I am by how many near misses I have. If they are daily, i'm terrible, if they are weekly, i'm bad, etc. etc. Works well for me to use as a gauge.
  6. phizog, good call man, thats how i have bee riding since last Thursday and I am less stressed and more comfortable in the ride too.

    Thanks guys!
  7. One of the best pieces of advice I've seen here recently!
  8. There you go Vinnie...a little tap on the shoulder to remind you, mate.
    Glad the bike is aok. :)

    Another event for the "wall of experience"

  9. Yep, the bike is ok. I was worried about my forks at first, but they function as they should. Its getting its 1000k run-in service tomorrow so I'll get them to check it out anyway.
  10. It's the same as if you drive the same twisty road each day and get to know it well. As the days progress you go quicker and quicker until on one corner you have an Oops moment which makes you realise you need to be more careful and slow down a bit.

    Trouble is for some people the Oops moment is their last on this earth.
  11. Good advice, this is how i ride i will just cruise along with traffic. Light goes red and i go to the front.. Light goes green and i get to ride along by myself for a few minutes until i catch the next lot of traffic =p. I actually believe this makes the riding safer as it means i spent 50% of the time cruising along by myself and 50% of the time sitting at red lights. I even go out of my way to make sure i don't catch the next lot of traffic sometimes. I will just sit back 30 or 40 meters and wait for them all to get caught at a red light.